- ·What is acceptable behavior?
- ·What is unacceptable behavior?
- ·What are your priorities when it comes to behavior?
- ·Is your child aware of these priorities?
Setting clear expectations also means being clear on relevant and age-appropriate consequences and being 100% consistent. As far as possible, consequences should be related to misbehavior and you should always warn your child:
- ·“If you don’t eat your lunch, you will have nothing else to eat until 4p.m.”
- ·“If I ask you one more time to lower the volume, I’ll take the video game away.”
- ·“If your homework is not done by 5p.m., they’ll be no TV today.”
2) Be democratic. Being democratic means explaining your reasons and your expectations and listening to your children, even when you disagree. It means taking the time to explain why there are negative consequences for specific behavior.
- ·Focus on the positive. Make it a habit to “catch your child being good”
- ·To be effective, reinforce immediately after the behavior.
- ·Do not bribe your child. Positive reinforcement is about rewarding good behavior “you can have one cookie if you play quietly with your brother for 15 minutes” rather than about rewarding misbehavior “you can have a cookie if you go back to bed”. Notice the difference?